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View Diary: Indian Child Removal: Racism, "Perverse Financial Incentives," and Willful Violation of the ICWA (156 comments)

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  •  And virtually every mainstream piece . . . (18+ / 0-)

    on this story infuriates me.  They omit salient information about the father and his efforts to get his child as soon as he was [finally] informed of her existence. They treat the ICWA as a suggestion, rather than as long-settled law.  And they don't even bother giving lip service to the very real cultural and historical issues at play here, instead casting it as a battle between good white selfless parents being "robbed" of "their" child by a greedy Indian who's only in it for the money (! - in reality, no money, but lots of expense).

    That case has made me so very angry that I haven't been able to write about it.

    Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

    by Aji on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:04:13 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  may i give you my take on the game? (17+ / 0-)

      full disclosure:  i was an unwed mother in 1968, the victim of a rape.  my child was  stripped out of my body and disappeared immediately into a closed adoption.  it was all done within the letter of the law.  need i tell you how much i have suffered?

      i have been an activist for 20 years, trying to call attention to the problems within adoption.  of the estimated millions of us who were stripped of our children during the first wave of forced adoptions, there are now hundreds of us who are devoted activists.  we have been joined by second wave mothers, and now, the developing third wave of forced adoption mothers who  have lost their kids to this.

      do you have any idea how difficult it is to convince people to let go of their fantasies about adoption, even in the face of  tons of documentation from reputable sources?

      anyway, the game:

      used to be that agencies could take a white baby and  place it, collect the fee, and it was over.  there was an oversupply of white babies until 1972.  they only wanted white babies, because...well, you already know why.

      along came roe v wade and the pill.  the white baby supply dried up.  it is currently 2% of what it was in 1972.

      so, the industry went overseas.  they outsourced the production of adoptable babies to china, india, mexico, russia.  they wanted newborn babies that were as close to white as possible.

      now, those countries have become hip to the industry's tricks, and are closing down adoptions.

      so, i'd say that veronica rose is a test case.  in my opinion, you guys need to be completely aware of the industry, and how it operates.  i would be vigilant about the guarding my newborns, were i you.

      the demand supply of the adoption chain isn't getting any smaller, and placement fees are growing every day.

      i have a ton of links about domestic and international adoption, and the problems therein.  it's much, much worse than you think.

      if you want me to send you  my file links, pm me.

      •  I believe you. (14+ / 0-)

        The pressures are enormous, and at a time when the biological mother is most vulnerable.  [Although I gather that in this case, any pressures came from the biological mother's parents; that the family didn't want a "half-breed" child.]

        We also have a [relatively] new dynamic at play, in that we have a lot of [also relatively] wealthy white couples who desperately want to play Indian.  You see it in the faux shamanism, ceremony-stealing-and-selling crap that goes on every day.  I've known of a number of such people who want to acquire (I use that word deliberately) a child and decide that their ticket to "'being Indian" is to acquire an Indian child.

        Frankly, that makes me even madder than the forced conversion types, or the ones who are in it for the money.  It's all terrible, but the inherent racism in this new wrinkle just infuriates me.

        And I have absolutely zero confidence in this case being decided correctly.  Which scares the hell out of me.

        Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

        by Aji on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 12:51:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  if you start to examine the dynamics of adoption (11+ / 0-)

          these days,  there is a wide streak of entitlement and ownership.

          consider the phrase "our birthmother"  it translates to "the incubator we own"  ( and will dispose of as soon as possible.)

          now consider the latest in marketing from adoptionland:   "open pregnancy."   you've heard of open adoption?  ( also a marketing ploy, as 80% of these close  upon finalization. )

          "open pregnancy"  means pre birth matching, with the potential adoptors monitoring the pregnancy medically , being at all the doctor appointments, ultrasounds. making sure she eats right, etcetcetc.

            all before the woman has signed papers!    it is coercive in the extreme, and assumes that two humans are now subject to the demands of a third, unrelated  party.  a third party with MONEY.  a third party WITH MONEY WHO WANTS YOUR KID.  and who will promise you the moon right now, but toss you out like last night's dinner once the papers are signed and  you have no legal rights.

          that's what 's happening in adoptionland right now.

          if adoption was about finding homes for children who need them, there would not be  hundreds of thousands of  children aging out of the foster care system. ( that's a whole nother  deal, but i am not intimately  acquainted with it, so i stay out of discussions about it)

          but, adoption is not about finding homes for needy children.  it is about finding children for needy homes.

          emphasis on needy.

            in your case, i would have to agree that there is a racist element.  you children as fashion accessory, as accouterments to someone's vanity.

          in one year and out the next, as a new fashion trend comes along.

          •  That's one thing that has troubled me . . . (8+ / 0-)

            for as long as I can remember.  

            My father was corrupted by the fundies on his mother's side of the family; it scarred him for life.  And I grew up in an environment where he referred to us kids as "his in a way that clearly demonstrated that he understood us to be his property - like a house or a car or suit of clothes.  A thing, an acquisition.

            It's an outgrowth of capitalist and colonialist cultures and attitudes, and it's a dangerous one.

            Authentic Native American silverwork, jewelry, photography, and other art here.

            by Aji on Sat Feb 02, 2013 at 01:43:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  indeed it is (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Aji, chimene, navajo, meralda, Avilyn

              colonialization of an extreme variety

              add in the narcissistic injuries of people who have been denied the ability to conceive, and the vast sums of money that change hands under conditions of secrecy, and you have a potent poison indeed.

              i am reading through your thread.  it seems like you guys have a pretty good handle  on this.

              the links i referred to earlier are all about the nuts and bolts of how babies are obtained  from around the globe, and fed to the american white person's adoption market.   stories from the washington post, brandies university, foreign policy magazine, the harvard law review, etc.

              if you decide you want them,  let me know.

              my very best wishes to all of you.

        •  don't be scared (12+ / 0-)


          the industry is  weak.  actually, it is dying.  it is going the way of the dodo.  everywhere they turn ,  people are on to them, and the doors are slamming in their faces.

          get your best lawyers together, and teach the industry a lesson in court.

          after all these years, it comes down to this:  the only thing they understand is lawsuits.

          terry achane won.  you guys can fight this as well.


    •  now that you have an overview (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, kyril, Joy of Fishes, crose, chimene

      we can talk abut the media narrative.

      the narrative you describe ie, the flawed  natural parent vs the  selfless, saintly parent, is at least 50 years old.  you encounter this little fantasy over and over and over again.  we have all heard about the addicted natural mother, the drunken natural father, the woman who throws the baby into the dumpster.  they run that play over and over and over again.  this time it's a greedy native american father who is the villain of the tale.

      but how often do you hear about the man who turned his adopted girl into an internet porn star, the adopted father who raped his little boys, the adopted parents who beat and starve their kids?  not that much.

      i am telling you, they have used this dynamic for so long, that it has become common wisdom, deeply entrenched in our minds.  problem is, lots of the time, it isn't true.  it's just what we expect to hear.  it's the same old line the industry has been peddling for.ever to justify destroying a natural family so they can place  the child...for a handsome fee, of course.

      let me encourage you to read about terry achane, if you are not already aware of his case.  he just prevailed and got his daughter back , and in utah, no less.  the saintly adoptors held on to that baby for 20 months, despite knowing that terry had not consented ( terry is a drill sargent who was on active duty in south carolina when his  newly divorced wife placed their baby without his knowledge or consent)

      domestic media barely said a word about it.  you know who covered this story?  the Daily Mail.

      for most of this case, domestic media said very little.  finally, when they case was finally settled for once and for all

      the salt lake tribune ran a story

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